PARIS — – New data Monday showing record jobless rates in the eurozone underscored the pain inflicted by the slowing world economy and the financial problems plaguing many of the countries that share the euro currency.
Unemployment in the 17-member euro area rose to 11.4 percent in August, Eurostat, the statistical agency of the European Union, reported from Luxembourg.
The agency also revised the figure for June and July to 11.4 percent, up from the previously reported 11.3 percent, which was already a record level for the region since the introduction of the euro in 1999.
The jobless numbers, which compare with the August rate of 8.1 percent in the United States, suggest that Europe’s recession is deepening, despite the continued efforts of policymakers and finance ministers to cure the region’s malaise.
Unemployment in Greece and Spain, currently the eurozone’s most economically troubled members, reached new euro-era highs.
Visiting Madrid on Monday, Olli Rehn, the European commissioner for monetary affairs, said Europe stood “ready and willing” to act in response to a possible bailout request from Spain.
Greece had an unemployment rate of 24.4 percent in June, the latest month for which data were available.
Spain, meanwhile, still had the region’s highest jobless rate, at 25.1 percent overall, and an even bigger problem among young people. Nearly 53 percent of Spaniards under age 25 were classified as unemployed in August.
“Youth unemployment, especially if prolonged, threatens to harm the self-esteem and economic potential of young people now and in the future,” Jonathan Todd, a spokesman for the European Commission, said in a statement Monday after the release of joblessness figures.
“This could also pose a serious threat to social cohesion and increase the risk of political extremism,” he said. “EU institutions and governments, businesses and social partners at all levels need to do all they can to avoid a ‘lost generation,’ which would be an economic and social disaster.”
Reinforcing the dismal data, the Markit Economics purchasing managers’ index Monday confirmed an initial report showing that eurozone industrial production declined in September for a seventh consecutive month.
Jennifer McKeown, an economist with Capital Economics in London, noted in a report that while the economic strain was being felt most heavily at the “periphery” of the eurozone, in places like Spain and Portugal, “the situation is bad in the core, too,” with the French jobless rate at 10.6 percent.
The data Monday “suggest that the industrial sector is experiencing a sharp downturn,” McKeown wrote.